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Maduro celebrates illusory economic growth as annual inflation hovers at around 2,000 percent

While the Central Bank of Venezuela reported November’s inflation rate at 8.4 percent, that translates into a nearly 2,000 percent annual inflation rate

December 27, 2021 12:57pm

Updated: December 27, 2021 3:08pm

Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro claims that the impoverished South American nation is experiencing economic growth for the first time since the United States began waging an “economic war” on Caracas.

"2021 has been the year of economic recovery since the economic war began... Despite the U.S. criminal sanctions, the production of food, goods, and services grows. Domestic industries and trade also increase, which has a great impact on the People," Maduro told Lebanese news outlet Al Mayadeen on Sunday.

Although Maduro did not offer any data to back his claim, he insisted that the Venezuelan economy has undergone a process of “sustainable recovery, based on work, based on the recovery of the real economy and based on the collective effort of the entire country.”

"The economy is growing: an economy that produces food; an economy that produces goods; an economy that produces services,” he added.

Maduro went on to assure reporters that the economic growth was especially felt by everyday Venezuelans on the ground – the majority of whom have suffered from food shortages and rampant inflation since the former bus driver, who later rose to Minister of Foreign Affairs and vice president under former dictator Hugo Chavez, took power in 2013.

Yet it’s hard to be optimistic about these illusory, unpublished figures when various international reports have concluded that the Venezuelan economy has decreased by four-fifths since 2014.  

Hyperinflation is also rampant across the country and consumers find it increasingly difficult to keep up with the rising costs of goods.

Earlier this month, the Central Bank of Venezuela reported that November’s inflation was 8.4 percent – representative of a third consecutive month with a single-digit figure.

However, those single-digit monthly inflation figures still translate into a nearly 2,000 percent annual inflation rate, according to Reuters.   

These precarious economic conditions perhaps can explain why more than six million Venezuelans have left their homes for countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile as of Dec. 2021.  

Maduro made sure to blame Venezuela’s economic woes on the many sanctions imposed on his regime by the Biden administration and past governments, assuring reporters that Venezuela has “resisted brutal onslaughts” from the United States, including an unprecedented “financial, monetary and commercial persecution.”

But interim President Juan Guaidó warned that the regime is trying to “sell the misleading idea that things are fine” even when “Venezuelan families know what is happening.”

"There are more than six million Venezuelans who no longer reside in Venezuela," the opposition leader lamented. "These families had to spend the holidays far away from their loved ones."